People starving when tons of unsold food is thrown away globally because people couldn’t afford to purchase the food, that’s violence.
People dying and going bankrupt to pay for their healthcare, that’s violence.
People being evicted from their homes when there are more houses than there are houseless people, that’s violence.
[CW: discussion of rape culture and violence]
This reminds me of an article about online (heterosexual) dating that I read a while ago. It listed men’s and women’s worst fears about meeting someone from online. The highest ranked fear that men had was that their date would be fat, whereas the highest ranked fear that women had was that their date would turn out to be violent and kill them.
I think that says a lot.
Its interesting also that these fears sit subconsciously until woman are asked to exams their responses to men. We women will operate with this fear in mind, the way we protect ourselves, make sure our friends know where we are when we go on a date, words that we use while interacting with men, all in hopes they will not kill us, but simultaneously love us.
I think bell hooks made a point about this in her series on love. Something along the lines of how can women hope to love and receive love from men when at the foundation of our relationships there is this strong fear of men. You can’t build true trust when your foundation is crumbling under you.
The scariest part is, once you recognize this fear, and face it, how do you address it when there is evidence of “good” men abusing, hurting, and killing women everyday?
I was in my early 20’s when one of my homegirls broke this down for me.
I was in a broken relationship, and one of the things was that bugged me at the time was that the girlfriend at the time would freak out whenever I got angry - I never yelled, never throw or hit things, mostly, I just needed some time to cool out.
“Why does she get scared when I’m angry? I’d never hit her!”
“But she doesn’t KNOW that. She can’t assume that. Look at how many dudes are out there pulling shit.”
And that stuck with me for a hot minute. The relationship was broken on so many levels anyway, but that fact still remains, as a man, I can’t fault women for assuming the worst in order to protect themselves, especially how the world’s patriarchy and misogyny rolls.
I’ve had continual discussions with Tchy about this, and I don’t expect to stop. It’s fair to say that there’s no one in the world that I trust more, and he has been extremely careful with me, but… the fact remains that he leans quite a bit towards the masculine, and this means that that fear is always there. The news of transmasculine folks abusing/raping people doesn’t help that fear any. :(
I’m learning not to apologize for it. It’s not my fault (nor, really, is it his) that I’m scared of dude-type people. But it’s always there. Which is another reason why I get so pissed off when trans men try to make transmisogyny about them.
This is an incredible thread of responses. I’ve seen this quote before, but not the dialogue that built up around it. The part about loud=violent hits home particularly hard for me. I am terrified of getting into irl arguments with men, especially when they get loud. It’s always going to sit in the pit of my stomach.
That part resonates for me too, although from a completely different angle. Despite being more terrified of sexual violence than I am of anything other than my own brain, I do not hesitate to yell, confront, get up in the face of, threaten, even hit men twice my size and many times my strength. Faced with a threat of violence from men, I will either imply or state “I dare you to.”
I also, as previously established on this blog, have a death wish.
To me, that encapsulates everything about the violence, especially sexual violence, coded into relationships between men and women in our society: for a woman to assert herself in the face of maleness may require the woman in question (such as me) to be perpetually suicidal.
Reblogging for commentary. I have been frightened and scared by men being loud with me, even if I don’t think they’ll be violent. Like people have said above, it’s just a latent response in your brain to fear violence from men.
I went out to dinner with someone a couple of weeks ago (LONG story, was supposed to be a group dinner but it ended up just being me & a strange man) and I told him I blogged about feminism and politics, and he went off on me. He told me feelings were bullshit and women just wanted special privileges, and then he said, “Women don’t give men enough credit for not being violent psychopaths. That’s what we are, deep down. We want to rape and pillage, and we don’t, and women don’t give us enough credit for that.” I burst into tears. That shit was terrifying.
I too am reblogging this for the amazing commentary.
When supposed feminist ally men deny this very basic, simple truth - that’s how you know they are an ally to no one.
This all gets taught to women at a very young age, how dangerous the world is when you’re in it being a woman. I’ve been struggling to write about something that happened with my daughter a few weeks ago, how to form the words, but this is possibly the best context.
We were in the wine shop, in line to pay, and she was so excited to get her lollipop (in the time honored tradition of wine stores everywhere). A man two people ahead of us started fighting with the woman behind the counter about how much money he’d given her. As I was moving her behind my body, my daughter froze, and when I say froze, I mean wasn’t moving a muscle except to shake.
It sorted itself out pretty quickly. We paid and left.
Once we got back into the car, she started crying. I asked her what was the matter, and she said, “Mama, I was so scared. When men get angry they shoot people.”
That’s a direct quote. When men get angry, they shoot people.
I asked her, “Baby, why do you think that?” She replied, “on NPR, that’s what happens. When men get really mad they kill people. That guy was really mad, what if he had a gun? What would you do?”
The talk we had afterwards was difficult; no one said parenting was easy. But this is the life we live as women. If my 9 year old understands it, then men of the world, alleged feminist allies, Nice Guys, random douches on the street, and even actual non-dangerous men: so can you.
I’ve reblogged this quote before, I think. But reblogging now for the amazing commentary.
I was having a discussion with my father and brother the other day. We were talking about receiving threats of rape or violence via the internet. Their whole argument was “just ignore it and walk away from your computer”. Amazing solution. Can’t believe I never thought of that. It’s so clever because we all know that when you leave your keyboard the threat of violence disappears.
[CW: cissexist assumptions, discussion of rape and suicide] Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
|—||Lindy West, If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?|
#SafetyTipsForLadies - or, Why Victim Blaming is Moronic
The other day I was going about my business when I happened to read this moronic article explaining how advocating ‘risk management’ (barf) is not ‘victim blaming’.
I’ve read a lot of articles like this, but that one, for some reason, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am absolutely sick to death of being told what to wear and what to do and how to be, as though any of that will somehow save me from being raped. It’s not a woman’s responsibility to prevent sexual assault. How about we teach men not to rape instead?
How about we recognise that being drunk, being ‘sexy’, being out having fun, being loud, being trans, being queer, being sexually active - none of it causes rape, because rapists cause rape?
How about we stop pretending that if women follow some stupid, Byzantine set of ‘rules’ we’ll be safe?
But the real thing that gets me about these ‘safety tips’ is this:
THEY ALL ASSUME WOMEN ARE MORONS.
Every single article I read containing hot tips! on how to be safe reads like the author thinks women have never heard or thought about their personal safety before.
Fun fact: Women think about personal safety, like, all the time. We carry a spare pair of shoes. We don’t listen to music so we can listen out for people coming up behind us. We get a cab instead of walking, if we’re lucky enough to afford it (not that that’s exactly a safe option either).
We think and we watch and we listen because we know by being a woman we’re at risk. Every one of my female friends and I have our own list of things we do to be safe, a lot of stuff that has been conditioned in us since childhood and that we now do subconsciously, without thinking. Because we live in a rape culture.
SO STOP. Stop writing stupid, patronising bullshit articles telling us WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW.
Plus. Half your tips are fucking stupid anyway.
So, in response to the stupid Punch article, I decided to start tweeting my own ‘hot safety tips’, with the hashtag #SafetyTipsForLadies.
If you wear a broccoli safety-pinned to your lapel manly carnivorous men will be repelled and won’t rape you #safetytipsforladies
If you swaddle yourself in bubble wrap, rapists will get distracted and forget to rape you #safetytipsforladies
It’s unwise to go out at night wearing a short skirt. Also, make sure your clothes are made entirely out of knives. #safetytipsforladies
If you hide your forearms in your sleeves, the rapist will mistake you for a T-Rex and carry on his way #safetytipsforladies
Never drink alcohol near a man. In fact, it is best to only drink sherry while locked in your bedroom cupboard #safetytipsforladies
Do you have sensual long legs? Many rapists like sensual long legs. Consider chopping them off at the knees. #safetytipsforladies
Many women enjoy sport. Unfortunately, women playing sport can attract rapists. Try playing tennis in a dark cupboard. #safetytipsforladies
Then others began to join in, and it pretty much took off. Here are some of my favourites:
#safetytipsforladies carry a saxophone with you at all times, so that if you are attacked you can gain attention by playing jazz tunes
carry syrup of ipecac, if a man approaches you drink it & vomit on him #safetytipsforladies
If you are non-corporeal, you are less likely to be raped. Consider becoming a ghost to protect yourself. #safetytipsforladies
See to fast forwarding the ages of you life at which you are most at risk of rape. Youth is for less risky genders. #safetytipsforladies
Don’t wear anything anyone might ever remotely find attractive in any way at all, ever. Don’t be naked either. #safetytipsforladies
Carry a stick and use it to rustle dark bushes. This will spook the rapists and flush them from their natural habitat. #safetytipsforladies
Levitate! It is a little-known fact that most rapists cannot fly. #safetytipsforladies
Start slut shaming victims, that way you can sleep well knowing it will never happen to you. #safetytipsforladies
Domesticate a honey badger and take it to parties with you. #safetytipsforladies
Children are at risk of sexual abuse so consider springing fully-formed from your father’s forehead like Athena. #safetytipsforladies
Men rape for power. Carry AA batteries with you and toss them in front of the rapist to distract him. Then run away. #safetytipsforladies
#safetytipsforladies implant ocular lasers into your face.
#safetytipsforladies When someone wants to rape you, politely decline.
The majority of rapes do not occur in dark alleyways. For safety, travel only in dark alleyways. #safetytipsforladies
If you’re raped, say “I’m a good girl!” Since “good girls” never get raped, the rapist will vanish in a puff of logic #safetytipsforladies
Since rapists can drug your drinks, never drink anything ever again. Death by dehydration is a sign of virture! #safetytipsforladies
Most rapes occur on Earth, consider travelling and living in outer space #safetytipsforladies
Got a nice face? Wear a possum as mask at all times because men can’t help themselves otherwise. #safetytipsforladies
Carrying mace is bad advice - it can be taken from you. Carry a jar of angry bees instead! #safetytipsforladies
#safetytipsforladies remember, the majority of rapes are committed inside the home, so consider living in a public library instead.
Rapist packs will disperse when outnumbered. Consider forming a rat-king with the hair of your 15 closest friends #safetytipsforladies
Eat more bananas. Smother yourself in banana. 68% percent of rapists don’t really like bananas. #safetytipsforladies
The elbow is the strongest point of your body. Have you considered turning your knees into additional elbows? #safetytipsforladies
Have yourself laminated. Sure it’s suffocating, but really, you must do your bit to prevent being assaulted #safetytipsforladies
#safetytipsforladies acquire a falcon to permanently perch on your head and guard you
It’s a known fact that rapists love hotdogs. Cover a decoy woman in hotdogs and make her walk near you, you’ll be safe #safetytipsforladies
Pour honey on yourself and roll in bird seed. Birds will then flock to form an impenetrable barrier to rapists #safetytipsforladies
Rapists find it difficult to rape while made of stone. Try becoming Medusa, or if that is too difficult, a basilisk. #safetytipsforladies
Get around by means of high-rise parkour only. Streets and public transport are just not meant for the rapeable. #safetytipsforladies
Take note of what is around you. Continously scibble down every detail of every man who comes within a 5m radius #safetytipsforladies
Be careful with your seasonings. Rapists love pepper, they hate cinnamon #safetytipsforladies
It is a fact that rapists target human ladies, so be an animorph. Transform into an eagle at the first sign of danger. #safetytipsforladies
Unconsciousness is alluring to rapists. Have you considered being perpetually awake? Approach Red Bull for sponsorship #safetytipsforladies
Rapists attack in unlit areas. Consider carrying your own, personal spotlight at nighttime #safetytipsforladies
Never ever ever have consensual sex, lest this come back to haunt you at trial #safetytipsforladies
Never leave the house without a drawbridge, archers, parapets, cauldrons of hot oil, backup moats #safetytipsforladies
Set yourself on fire. Rapists will be drawn to it like moths and incinerated in your lady-flames. #safetytipsforladies
When having fun, you are more likely to miss noticing an approaching attacker. So never have fun. Not even video games. #safetytipsforladies
Get hit by a truck from a chemical plant and get chemicals on you. Morph into a liquid form at any sign of danger. #safetytipsforladies
A large proportion of rapes happen in the victim’s home. Ladies, never go home. #safetytipsforladies
Don’t have any fun. Happy women get raped. Cultivate a perpetually grumpy expression and demeanour. #safetytipsforladies
Walk on stilts everywhere you go. Perch in trees when possible. Rapists rarely look up when searching for prey. #safetytipsforladies
Never brush your teeth and feed mainly on carrion until your saliva is poisonous. Like a komodo dragon. #safetytipsforladies
Don’t be attacked by guys with a promising future. That is the absolute WORST decision you can make. #SafetyTipsForLadies
Always remain in an inert atmosphere (e.g. argon), to deprive rapists of the oxygen they need to attack. #SafetyTipsForLadies
Most women know their rapist, so make sure to never know anyone. Ever. #safetytipsforladies
Dress up as a Crazy Johns Mobile Phone representative. When they try and attack you, ask what plan they’re on. #SafetyTipsForLadies
Always check inside your shoes for rapists before putting them on. #safetytipsforladies
Never go anywhere or do anything. #safetytipsforladies
And finally, the best one of the entire list:
Create the universe. Remake the Earth without rape culture. #safetytipsforladies
The best thing ever.
[TW: rape culture, victim blaming] For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as ‘Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays’ rather than ‘Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,’ try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether…
Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richardson are not the “stars” of the Steubenville rape trial. They aren’t the only characters in a drama playing out in eastern Ohio. And yet a CNN viewer learning about the Steubenville rape verdict is presented with dynamic, sympathetic, complicated male figures, and a nonentity of an anonymous victim, the ‘lasting effects’ of whose graphic, public sexual assault are ignored. Small wonder, then, that anyone would find themselves on the side of these men—these poor young men, who were very good at taking tests and playing sports when they were not raping their classmates.
|—||Mallory Ortberg, Gawker, critiquing CNN’s coverage of the Stuebenville case|
|—||Lundy Bancroft, Healing and Hope|
[TW: description of rape] His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t even seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way.
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth.
Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel… just waited for him to stop.
Bella and Jacob’s first kiss, “Twilight: Eclipse”, p. 331
This is rape culture.
Young women are taught to think of this passage - which describes sexual assault - as erotic. Young men are taught to force their will on young women, regardless of any (non)verbal cues, because sex is conquest and women are objects - not something to be done between two consenting individuals because it’s pleasurable for both people.
The most frightening thing about this excerpt is that many survivors of sexual assault who have disclosed to me describe stories that sound exactly like this one.
The lines before that:
And after he assaulted her she punched him in the face but due to his “super human strength” she broke her hand, said “Don’t touch me!” and then:
AND THEN while he was driving:
Then when she gets home, to where her father, Charlie, the police officer, is:
I didn’t read the citation first. I read the quote. I thought I was reading a woman’s account of how she was about to be raped, not a fucking passage from a romance novel.
THIS LITTLE GIRL.
THIS LITTLE GIRL MADE HER FIRST MOVIE.
AND SHE GOT NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR.
SHE CAME WITH HER LITTLE PUPPYDOG PURSE.
AND WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A FUN NIGHT.
EVEN IF SHE DIDN’T WIN.
SHE GETS SOME WHITE MAN TAKING AWAY HER AUTONOMY, HER SENSE OF SELF, TREATING HER AS A JOKE, AS A SEXUAL OBJECT.
Most women leaving violent relationships return at least once because their self-authority has been eviscerated and replaced with a partner’s authority. Think Stockholm Syndrome. Rihanna probably needs support, not criticism, and her return could be a cause for teaching, not despair.
This is a microcosm of the frequent difference between the original battered women’s centers that were or are run by survivors, and some of the current Family Violence Centers run by people with degrees. The survivors supported women in making their own decisions — because they themselves knew from experience. The second too often repeated the problem by telling women what to do one more time.
Gloria Steinem, responding to Lena Dunham
If you mock and belittle and insult a DV victim for being abused or staying with or going back to an abuser, you are telling them that their abuser was right about what other people think of them and how little support there is for them from others so idk enjoy living with yourself if you like talking about how you’re “so done” with a woman for being “so stupid” or whatever.
And you’re the one who’s “sending a bad message” to young girls because the message you’re sending is “I will completely abandon you if you’re ever in this situation and I might say it’s all your fault too”.
Gloria Steinem is one hella transphobic douchewipe, but I’m posting her comments because they are rather excellent in this instance (aside from the bit where she says Rihanna “probably” needs support instead of criticism).
I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:
|—||Stephen Colbert, in response to NRA trying to blame gun violence on video games|
I’ve been meaning to make a post discussing assaults that often happen in mental hospitals that often go unreported/unnoticed, but I haven’t had the spoons for it.
But the last time I was hospitalized, there was a man there who asked me if I wanted to “hang out”. I was extremely drugged-up on Haldol and god knows what else, and I said “sure”. He later told me to follow him into his room. I told him that I didn’t think we were allowed in other patient’s rooms, and he said it was okay, to “just follow him”. So I went in. He then proceeded to push me onto the bed and feel me up. I quickly pushed him off and started walking towards the door, but he stood in front of me and put his hands on my ass. He then started feeling me up again and eventually tried to start taking my pants off. I was extremely confused from my medication and felt like I was in a dream, but eventually I had the sense to push him away and ran out of the room. I didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t quite know how to process what had just happened. I wasn’t sure if it had *really* happened or if I had hallucinated it (I have schizophrenia). So I went back into my room and decided to try and go to sleep because my mind was racing.
He followed me into my fucking room.
He crouched down near my bed (my roommate was sleeping) and kept saying “come on, what’s the big deal?” I told him to go away, that I had a girlfriend, etc. He kept stroking my leg and trying to pull my blanket off. I told him that he really needed to leave, but he just kept talking to me and touching my leg. I told him that if he didn’t leave that I would scream. He finally said okay and stood up and started walking away. But then he just stood there for a while and I started counting “1, 2…” and he left. He then just stood outside my door for a long time and starred at me.
I was obviously freaked out. But I couldn’t believe what had just happened was real.
I was tired from my medication and went to sleep.
The next day on smoke break, I was trying to process what had happened. I couldn’t decide whether it had *actually* happened or if it had all been in my head.
And then, I saw him.
He came outside, smiled at me, and sat down next to me.
He asked me for a cigarette.
I told him that he had a lot of nerve asking me for a cigarette after what he did to me the other day. He said, “You know you had fun.”
I was disgusted.
But I still gave him my second cigarette?
When I was done smoking, I stood up to leave, and he said, “So, do you want to hang out later?”
I just looked at him with a horrified face and walked away.
I guess he was discharged that day or something, because I didn’t see him after that, which is unfortunate, because I finally had enough sense to report him after I had discussed it with other patients and my girlfriend (even though I didn’t end up reporting it). But after discussing the incident with other patients, I was horrified by some of the stories I had heard (not stories from that hospital, but other hospitals they had been at). I heard stories of patients who had reported being assaulted by other patients, but when they reported it, it was never taken seriously. I heard stories of patients who were harassed by staff members, but when it was reported/addressed, it was also never taken seriously. And it reminded me of how when I brought up my concerns of a male patient who kept starring at me (like really, even my girlfriend commented on the fact that this guy kept starring at me, and he would stand outside of my room and look at me as I was trying to sleep… it was freaky), and you know what they did for me? THEY GAVE ME HALDOL, BECAUSE LOL, THEY SAID I WAS JUST ~BEING PARANOID~.
When you’re mentally ill, you’re not always heard.
And it’s things like not being heard that make me question whether things like what happened to me at the hospital *actually* happened.
But it *did* happen.
And I shouldn’t have been afraid to report it just because I worried about whether or not I would actually be believed.
The fact that I couldn’t even fully believe myself because I was so drugged-up scares me.
I love you so much and I’m so grateful you took the time and energy to write this. Thank you. Seriously <3
Some of the arguments that defense attorneys use to defend rapists
I want you guys to stay informed. Here are some of the arguments that I edited for a defense attorney who specialized in defending men accused of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence.
- These cases work in a peculiar way — the jury won’t be swayed if the lawyer seems to be attacking a victim (especially female). So the defense plays up how smart and well-balanced the woman seems and how helpless and naive the guy is. If you’re cross-examining a woman and ask her nicely about a string of achievements — “You graduated summa cum laude from an Ivy League school, correct?” “You started your own business, correct?” “You are in charge of over 40 people at your company, correct?” “If one of your employees behaved inappropriately, you would have no problem reprimanding or firing them, correct?” “A smart woman isn’t likely to stay with a man who beats her every night, right? Does that sound right to you?” — the jury ends up having sympathy for her, but believing that she’s too smart (or pretty or accomplished or whatever vein the attorney picks) to let bad things happen to her.
- When he cross-examines his own clients he emphasizes that they’re either too morally sound or too confused, “It was just a mistake,” so that sometimes you can admit that there was an altercation but (he tells the jury, shaking his head) you can’t call it rape because that’s too strong.
- “Victim pretended to be unconscious following alleged rape to avoid answering friend’s questions” — hat’s a section heading for a case summary.
- “Friend did not initially believe explanation” - that’s the heading of the next section. In this particular case, the attorney cross-examined the victim’s friends and got them to admit that she was just a dramatic person, or flustered, pointing to signs that she either lied about this case or chronically lies/exaggerates.
- “Victim had time to consider her circumstances before accusing client of rape” — she took until the next day to go to the police station, soooo.
- Point out all the different ways she could have resisted or every possible sign of resistance that wasn’t there — the prosecution will focus on the few signs they have, but the defense can be really smarmy here and list every single way she did not resist
- If the woman was drunk, and the prosecution says she was unable to consent because she was drunk, the defense can call in experts on alcohol absorption and grill them until they admit that there’s a margin of error (“Since it was our contention that the alleged victim had exaggerated her level of intoxication to attract attention, and was not, therefore, too intoxicated to consent to sexual relations, the main goal of this cross-examination is to undermine the credibility of the chemist’s retrograde extrapolation calculations.” That’s a quote from a book I edited).
- And of course the good ol’ focusing on her sexual history, any flaws she could have, emphasize that these are human flaws and that nobody in this case deserves any punishment.
These are very convincing arguments to juries.
And that’s why we hesitate to report our sexual assaults and rapes, because “it’s not that big of a deal,” because there’s no way we could “let” that happen to us; because once we get to the police station they ask “what took you so long” and “how could you let that happen to you”; because when you get to the courtroom you’re subjected to this; and the time and the money and “I just want this to be over.” and then…the jury is so easily convinced. They say 1 in 4 women has been sexually assaulted, but I really think it’s more, and I don’t even want to know how many sexual assaults and rapes have happened with absolutely no mention — or even recognition — of them happening (from either party). Let alone retribution.